Entertainment

Singer Tony Martin dies at age 98

July 30, 2012 at 4:22 PM ET

Singer Tony Martin, best known for his romantic 1950s ballads and his 60-year marriage to dancer Cyd Charisse, has died at the age of 98, his business manager said on Monday.

Martin died at his West Hollywood home on Friday, and flowers will be placed at his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday.

 

"He passed peacefully of natural causes," said Stan Schneider, who was a friend and business manager of Martin's for more than 45 years.

Martin began his entertainment career as a saxophone player before leaving his San Francisco home for Hollywood where he had roles in 1930s and 1940s movies like "Follow the Fleet" and "Casbah".

But his biggest success came as a singer with hits like "Stranger in Paradise" in 1954, "There's No Tomorrow" (1950) and "Walk Hand in Hand" (1956).

In 1948, he married his second wife, Charisse -- one of the most beloved dancers of Hollywood's golden age of movie musicals, who partnered with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly -- and remained with her until her death in 2008.

Martin's movie and music career faded in the 1960s, but he continued performing into his 90s, friends said.

He will be buried at a memorial park near Los Angeles that is also the resting place of Charisse and Hollywood stars such as Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson.

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